VIDEO. Normandy on the vintage car side: a world of brass and leather for the collector
Series (2/4). Vintage cars do well in Normandy. The passion for vintage bodies is fueled by a pioneering past, and the Paris show, open until February 5, 2023, meets enthusiasts and collectors who are always on the lookout for Retromobile.
Moise Gagier turns on the switch and light emerges from the darkness of brass radiators, brass headlights and leather seats. When it comes to vintage cars, this collector from Eure and his wife Catherine clearly prefers the pre-war period, even before 1914. Of course, in garages with carpeted floors and walls decorated with enameled advertisements and rally signs. we come across the nostalgic Simca P60, the 1977 Corvette or even the two huge Ford Mercury and Galaxy from the 60s, but the darlings remain these venerable ancestors past the 100-year mark.
“Saved by enthusiasts switching to the originals”
Moise returns to the origins of this passion when detailing the magnificent Pilain Lyon double phaeton of 1906: “Once my stepfather asked us to drive his friend’s car. We were in the 70s, old cars, as they say, were popular at village festivals. Driving was a change from what we were used to and it was really nice. We started by driving a 1919 Vinot-Deguingand, then a 1907 FAS, a Citroën 5HP and a 1912 Rochet-Schneider. Today, there are many brands that dream of fans. “They were then saved from being scrapped by enthusiasts who switched to the originals,” Catherine summarizes.
“We bought a 1934 Renault Primaquatre to rebuild, but sold it before” Moses notes. It was putting the finger in the gear. Today, Gagiers looks after more than twenty vintage cars. Crushing them? “This is a Renault 1908 type AM taxi. This is a two-block four-cylinder with a displacement of two liters, but above all, one that always starts and works best! », The collector answers. At 75, it’s the detail that matters. Catherine and Moise always liked to ride, and after retirement it did not calm down. Every time there is a part of the adventure, it creates the charm of great ancestors. Whether it’s a 1903, 1904 or 1907 De Dion-Boutons, a 1907 Pilain Lyon or a 1908 Renault, they all have in common that they start with a crankshaft and use a magneto for ignition. . There are no electronics, calculators or injectors. You should know how to get your hands dirty if you have to.
“Simple, rustic and very cute mechanism”
Time travel is guaranteed at this price. And with basic mechanical culture, a driver can often make roadside repairs. “It’s a simple, rustic and very cute mechanism,” Accept Moses. Another characteristic of the car’s ancestors is that the doors are theoretical, the roof becomes an umbrella, and the air is everywhere. Delight in summer, adventure in winter. If the test seems too difficult, then there is always the 1950 Traction 15/6, the 1923 Donnet-Zedel torpedo or the 1936 Hotchkiss 411. More modern cars…
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